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India strategic dialogue—and marked the formal policy adoption

of PACE.

As many previous contributors to this magazine have pointed

out, official visits represent a fruitful mechanism through which

to bring policy ideas over the finish line. This is most clearly visi-

ble at the head-of-state level, but the same benefits can flow from

trips by Cabinet officials and high-ranking civil servants. During

President Barack Obama’s first months in office, senior officials

from the Department of Energy, National Security Council,

Overseas Private Investment Corporation, Export-Import Bank

and the Trade Development Agency all traveled to New Delhi

to probe the potential for bilateral clean energy collaboration.

Some senior Indian officials reciprocated those visits, of course.

That outreach paved the way for the November 2009 trip to

Washington by Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh—the

first state visit of the Obama administration—and Pres. Obama’s

first visit to India a year later. Embassy New Delhi, Washington

interagency stakeholders and our Indian counterparts used

these visits as action-forcing events to deepen the high-level

commitment on both sides to make the Partnership to Advance

Clean Energy a reality.

A Big Enough Sandbox for Everyone

From the outset, the NSC played a pivotal role, endorsing the

PACE concept and using its convening power to bring together

all U.S. government stakeholders. In relatively short order, a

dozen U.S. agencies and departments joined the initiative.

Through this process, we learned to frame our objectives broadly

enough to allow many different organizations to help realize a

deliberately ambitious agenda. It was critical for diverse partici-

pants each to be able to add unique value, be mutually support-

ive and avoid wasting time with turf battles.

Over countless conference calls between Washington and

New Delhi, we became one U.S. team working to shape PACE

and a coherent strategy for its implementation. Through iterative

conversations, we identified the resources and expertise that

each stakeholder organization could bring to the table. We used

the time in between calls to socialize prospective commitments

within our respective organizations and with our Indian counter-

parts, reality-checking our aspirations and inevitably recalibrat-

ing as we went.

Converting the political will behind PACE into meaningful,

wide-scale dissemination of clean energy technology also meant

creating an enabling environment for clean energy markets to

develop. That, in turn, required extensive technical training and

capacity building, regulatory policy development, collabora-

tive research and financial investments both small and large.

In short, the vision and the brand of PACE needed to be many

things to many different players, since the figurative, as well as

literal, buy-in required myriad champions.

While government agencies were the primary drivers of the

initiative, the Indian-American diaspora—tech-savvy and well

represented in science and engineering-intensive businesses

and academic organizations—helped mobilize additional Indian


Setting the PACE

As we implemented PACE, we identified three distinct lines of

effort within the broader initiative: research and development,

deployment and financing. The organization with the strongest

core competency and track record of work in each focus area

naturally took the lead in that line of effort and brought along

partner organizations.

The Department of Energy led the clean energy research and

development effort, which we nicknamed PACE-R. The U.S.

Agency for International Development and Embassy New Delhi

led efforts to supply the policy and technical assistance neces-

sary to create an enabling environment for rapid and widespread

clean energy deployment: PACE-D. In addition, OPIC, ExIm

Bank and TDA collaborated to set up a Clean Energy Finance

Center focused on the specific challenges associated with clean

energy finance. All the while, each of these subgroups remained

open to including new partners, and leveraged their pooled

resources to bring others together in turn.

The example of PACE-R is illustrative. Led by the Department

of Energy, which oversees the tremendous expertise resident in

multiple national energy laboratories, the PACE-R team came

A solar-powered street light in a village in India.